Informative Article No.4
We’ll, if you’ve read the last article you may have figured that I’ve just been too busy to write another article – and you’d be right!! We have been absolutely flat-out since the last article in Sept 01. Duckshooting season will start (again) in a few weeks. So get those shotguns out of the safe now and check to make sure everything is working okay. Don’t leave it until the last minute as we and most other gunsmiths will probably be too busy to be able to help by then.
The Red Deer seem to be roaring quite well at the moment, and on my only hunting trip for this roar some friends and I managed to get a couple of stags. No great trophy heads but plenty of meat for the freezer – great stuff!
As for the non-toxic shot issue a few people seem to be buying some of the steel shot loads to try out, although most people seem to be staying with the status-quo (i.e. lead) for the meantime. A lot will have to convert next year, we’ll see what happens.
There has been some talk of different ‘steel’ loads being available (mainly in 12ga), lower pressure cartridges which should be safe in a lot (but not all) of the double guns out there, and then also the 2 ï¿½” ‘express’ or 3″ ‘magnum’ loads. These are probably more suitable for semi-auto or pump action guns, but there will be a few double guns of more recent manufacture capable of handling these cartridges and their ‘higher than normal’ pressures.
Don’t forget if you have a fixed choke gun, either single or double barrel,get the choke constrictions checked by a qualified gunsmith (ask to see those qualifications if he claims to be). Most of the recommendations are for a choke constriction not greater than modified (or half choke, about 0.018″ to 0.020″ in 12ga bore.) Don’t trust anyone with one of those ‘key-ring type’ choke gauges that only measure the diameter at the muzzle end of the choke, they are next to useless. The true measurement of choke is the difference between bore diameter and choke diameter, and bore diameters do vary largely between manufacturers and countries of manufacture. The design of the choke plays a large part also. Most fixed chokes can be ‘opened up’ without too much trouble, but guns with chrome-lined bores will usually cost a little more to alter. Read our previous articles and see our ‘gunsmithing services’ section for more info on this.
Firearm licenses: – Towards the end of this year the first of the ’10-year license’ recipients’ licenses will expire. Those with surnames starting with ‘A’ and ‘B’ need to get in touch with their local Arms Officer before expiry to start the process of renewing or re-vetting for their new license. The cost of this is about $130.00. If you let your license expire (and are suddenly deemed to be in illegal possession of your own guns!?!) the cost for sitting a new license application will be about $260.00!! Better to get organised and see the Police well before your expiry date to save yourself some grief.
Good luck with the gamebird season and safe hunting.